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Victim Offender Dialogue in Crimes of Severe Violence A Multi-Site Study of Programs in Texas and Ohio

Coates, Robert B
June 4, 2015

Source: (2002) St. Paul, MN: Center for Restorative Justice and Peacemaking, School of Social Work, University of Minnesota.

The authors of this study observe that an increasing number of victims of sexual assault, attempted homicide, and survivors of murder victims are requesting the opportunity to meet the offender to express the full impact of the crime upon their life, to get answers to questions they have, and to gain a greater sense of closure so as to move forward in life. A number of states in the United States are developing protocols for allowing such an encounter between a victim or survivor of violent crime and the offender. This study examines the development and impact of the programs in Texas and Ohio that work with cases of severe violence, including homicide. The report includes a summary of key findings, an explanation of the research method, statistics and participants’ responses, and analysis of the findings. According to the authors, the data that emerged from the study indicates that many of the principles of restorative justice can be applied in crimes of severe violence in terms of both healing the victim and holding the offender accountable.


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